Everyday I Have the Blues
Music/Lyrics: John “Peter” Chatman a.k.a. Memphis Slim
Vocals: B.B. King
Original Artist: Memphis Slim
Historian: Heidi Franz, Dan Hantman
As one of the most classic and oft-covered blues songs, “Every Day” proved a special treat when B.B. King led Phish’s first rendition of it on 2/24/03. Originally titled “Nobody Loves Me” when written in 1947, the tune became better known when covered by Joe Williams and B.B. King as “Every Day I Have the Blues.” Although performed by all kinds of artists for over 50 years, including such blues artists as Johnnie Ray, James Brown, B.B. King, Buddy Guy and then rock artists such as Fleetwood Mac, Carlos Santana, Lou Rawls, The Marshall Tucker Band, Elton John, at heart it is a guitar player’s song. Some fans might be surprised to learn that the song was written by one of the greatest blues “pianists”: none other than Memphis Slim. The song gained its modern-day popularity after Buddy Guy and Junior Wells released their version of it on 1964’s album, The Original Blues Brothers.
As when Phish performs reggae, the 2/24/03 jam with B.B. King shows Phish doing a “swell” job for a bunch of white boys. Halfway through the first set of the show, B.B. King was assisted on stage amid roaring cheers from the crowd and big grins from the band. While many guests at Phish shows are just plain fun, some, like B.B. King, are an honor. The boys were visibly thrilled to have the “King of Blues” on stage with them. B.B. King started slow, feeling out how Trey and Page would handle the song. The mutual groove was felt by all, and it fell into place beautifully. With most eyes – most of all, Trey’s – glued to the legendary King, it was clear that this was a moment in Phishtory not soon to be forgotten.
It was a perfect example of how truly magnificent music transcends the generations, and the individual musicians who perform it.
B.B. King "Everyday (I Have the Blues)"